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Press Release

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Tyrell Elliot Frank, 26, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a federal assault charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Frank will be sentenced to 41 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Frank was arrested in April 2012, based on a criminal complaint charging him with assault.  He subsequently was indicted and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  According to court filings, on April 1, 2012, Frank repeatedly struck another Navajo man with a machete.  As a result of the assault, the victim suffered severe cuts to his left arm and his back.

During today’s proceedings, Frank pleaded guilty to Count 2 of the indictment, charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  In his plea agreement, Frank admitted that during the early hours of April 1, 2012, people arrived at his residence and approached him.  Frank stated that, because he recently had been released from the hospital after having been assaulted, he struck a person he did not know with a machete causing him serious bodily injury.  Frank stated that he later learned that the victim did not intend to harm him.

Frank has been in federal custody since his arrest on April 1, 2012, and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard.

Updated January 26, 2015